The day that Sam Seaborn realized he was dating Ainsley Hayes began like any other. 6.45 am found him standing in a queue in the White House Mess waiting for his coffee order. A hazelnut latte, blueberry muffin and fruit salad for Ainsley, a large black coffee and a toasted English muffin for himself. He collects their order and takes it to Ainsley’s office. They eat and drink together, just as they have twice this week. He leaves for his budget meeting and realizes, on the way there, that they are dating. In the past week they’ve had three breakfasts (this morning included), five lunches and five dinners together, though not always on the same days. Somehow they have slipped into this pattern, and in that moment he knows it is more than just friendship.
Over the past few months, especially the past week, he’s learned all sorts about her. The way she likes hazelnut lattes in the morning and black coffee after lunch, as well as her secret love of watermelon or mango cheesecake. In a way he’s not surprised that most of the things he’s learned about her regard food, it is after all something she loves. If she hadn’t become a lawyer, Sam wouldn’t have been surprised if she’d been a baker or a cake maker.
Sam comes to realize these things in a matter of seconds, and walks into his budget meeting with a surprised smile on his face. The meeting passes in more of a blur than it ought to, but his thoughts are preoccupied with Ainsley. They meet again at 7 for dinner, and they have Chinese take out in his office. Ainsley kicks off her shoes and curls up on his couch, one of the perks of being DCoS, and he lifts her feet onto his legs as they chat and eat. They read briefing memos and Sam enjoys the comfort and familiarity of their actions. At 9.30, Sam walks her back to her his car. She smiles naturally and prettily at him, he leans down and kisses her good night.
Ainsley seems surprised for a second but kisses back, and sighs softly when he pulls away.
“It took you long enough,” she grins at him. “Tomorrow I’ll get breakfast and see you in your office.”
“Sounds good to me,” Sam brushes her hair away from her face, and squeezes in a last quick kiss. For now, he just wants to enjoy being with her, the way she smiles at him, and the familiarity they’ve quickly reestablished. Another day he’ll worry about the difficult things; if it will effect their jobs, and if their political differences will become an insurmountable obstacle or remain an item of disagreement without anger.